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British Airways extends Executive Club elite status – but only for some

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British Airways has announced another 12 months extension of elite status for some Executive Club members.

The screw seems to be tightening, however. The initial extension in 2020 covered all members. The previous extension in March 2021 covered half of the membership base. This extension only covers a quarter of members.

There will be no extension to American Express 2-4-1 companion vouchers or any other vouchers. With 2-4-1 vouchers starting to expire next month, I think we have to assume that there will be no more extensions offered. You should start planning your flights accordingly.

British Airways Executive Club status cards

Who gets an extension?

We should say first that British Airways is NOT calling it an ‘extension’. It is calling it ‘protection’.

This not just semantics. It will make a difference for some people, but not others. For example, my Gold status run until 31st October 2022. I will NOT receive an extension until October 2023. However, if I was due to be downgraded on 31st March 2022 I would benefit.

Only members with a tier point collection end date between the 1st January 2022 and 31st March 2022 will receive protection / an extension.

If your tier point year ends during this three month period, your existing status level will be rolled over automatically for another year.

For clarity, your tier points will still reset to zero at the end of your current membership year. BA is not extending the time period you have to earn the necessary points for requalification.

Unlike Virgin Atlantic, which has been able to extend status in three and six month increments, the way that Executive Club is set up means that it can only process 12 month extensions.

This means that British Airways has chosen to limit the status extensions to those whose status was set to expire in Spring 2022 – ie. those whose membership year resets on 8th January 2022, 8th February 2022 or 8th March 2022.

BA’s view, I assume, is that members with a year-end between 8th April 2022 and 9th September 2022 should be able to renew under their own steam. Remember that tier point thresholds have also been reduced.

To be honest, it is questionable – to put it mildly – how many people with a year-end after 8th March will manage five long-haul return business class flights to retain their Executive Club Gold status.

What are the reduced tier point targets?

For the 75% of members whose status has not been extended / protected today, you may still be able to make the most of the 25% reduction in tier point requirements for each status tier.

BA has never been totally clear about how this offer worked. My impression is that the published deadline of 30th June 2022 applies to everyone, irrespecitve of year end.

If this is correct, it means that you will renew on the reduced threshold if you earn enough points by 30th June, but from 1st July to 8th September (if you have an 8th September 2022 year end) you will need the full tier point rate.

The reduced thresholds are:

  • Bronze status will require 225 tier points (was 300 tier points)
  • Silver status will require 450 tier points (was 600 tier points)
  • Gold status will require 1,125 tier points (was 1,500 tier points)
British Airways BA Amex American Express cards

What about American Express 2-4-1 companion vouchers?

There are NO extensions to companion vouchers or Gold Upgrade vouchers.

With the first batch of vouchers due to expire in October, I think we have to assume that it is not going to happen. Time to book an Autumn break …..

Conclusion

Today’s changes do not go far enough, by a long way. I think most people will agree on that.

Only 25% of members will receive a status extension.

The remaining 75% are being told that they must reach the reduced tier point threshold by 30th June, or earn the full standard amount of tier points if their year-end is later than that.

This is happening despite rumours from the United States that border restrictions may not be lifted until after the midterm elections in November 2022, because relaxation is seen as a vote loser. There is also minimal progress on lifting restrictions in Asia. Even if all restrictions were lifted tomorrow, I doubt any business would immediately bounce back to its pre-covid level of travel.

Don’t despair though. It is commercial suicide for British Airways to deliberately strip their (ex-) top customers of status, just months before they are likely to start picking up their travel. Virgin Atlantic, SkyTeam and Star Alliance will be waiting in the wings with status match offers if there is any sign of this happening. At a time when every full fare business traveller counts more than ever, is BA really likely to let them slip away?


HFP-Barclaycard-Avios-Card

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There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

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British Airways American Express

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You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

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Comments (147)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Mouse says:

    Easiest way to taper would be for more heavily reduced TP thresholds for those falling just outside the free extension period e.g. – following 6 months @ 50%, then 6 months at 75% then back to normal.

  • Mani says:

    Myself and Partner both have a 241 voucher expiring next year March and September respectively.
    We wanted to use them both together with our two daughters. However we wont be flying before March, and was hoping BA would extend them, but looks like this is not going to happen.
    We were planning to use Avios and the voucher to book business class return to the USA.
    Do I need to book the same trip we were planning, then cancel the trip to receive a new voucher(s)?
    Is there a better way to achieve what we originally planned?

    • Mike says:

      Mani – just use the 2 x 241 for booking a short haul (ie LHR to EDI) for the same people then cancel for a FTV which can be used to book what you originally wanted

      • Mani says:

        Thanks Mike, would I need to book LHR to EDI as business class and would I need to use my Avios for this booking?

        • ChrisC says:

          You can book any cabin and as this would be a 2-4-1 bookign then yes you’d need to use avios.

  • A says:

    Does anyone know re BA AMEX 2-4-1’s… are they still being issued with a 6month extension at present?
    If so, when does this end?

    Many thanks

  • ACK says:

    OH has March year end and became silver this year. Her silver is valid in the current TP year (ending in March 2022) plus the following TP year (ending in March 2023) plus the 1 month after. Given the shuffle with travels, she will likely become gold in Feb 2022, a month before her TP year-end. Even though her year ends in March, I don’t think she’ll get a free year of gold, and it will sill expire when the current silver would, April 30, 2023. Too bad, a free extra year would have been great, but I don’t think she’d benefit from this extension.

    • Peter Taysum says:

      If she gets Gold in Feb 22 she will retain this until March 22 AND THEN the next year until March 2023. If she hasn’t accrued enough to maintain Gold, she will get a “soft landing” to Silver until March 2024, when she would then get a soft landing to Bronze until March 2025.

  • Jeff Greene says:

    Rob it was only July or august when you said America would be opening “soon” for people travelling directly from the U.K. What’s changed?

    I don’t think it’ll be any time before Q2 next year but I’d be surprised if it’s as late as November 2022. Who knows though?

  • Ben says:

    Is there any way to swap the 241 voucher used on a booking? Or is the only way to cancel the avios booking, incur the £35pp cancellation charge, and book again with the alternative voucher hoping the flights havent been picked up by someone else in the time it takes the agent to do the above?

  • CW says:

    Oh well, if I knew this was happening I wouldn’t have gone hard on the double tier points BA holidays offer

  • Babyg says:

    I’ve mentioned this before, but i really wished id offset the start dates for members of my family, this would have “upped” our chances of getting lucky in the BA extension lottery. When my daughter drops to blue ill look to recreate her an account that is six months after mine (currently she is August like me).

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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